Acanthobrama telavivensis

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_onStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CYPRINIFORMES CYPRINIDAE

Scientific Name: Acanthobrama telavivensis
Species Authority: Goren, Fishelson & Trewavas, 1973
Common Name(s):
English Yarkon Bream

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-01-25
Assessor(s): Goren, M.
Reviewer(s): Freyhof, J. & Smith, K.
Justification:

Sixty years ago, this species was very abundant in most coastal streams in Israel. There was a sharp decline between 1950 and 1970. Then the population was stable until 1999, however, drought (in 1999) resulted in the riverine habitat disappearing and the population declined almost to extinction. The last remaining individuals were taken from the remnants of the river and bred in captivity. In 2006 the fish was reintroduced to 12 rehabilitated natural sites and artificial ponds within its previous natural range. During the period 2007 to 2013, most of these stocked habitats, monitored by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, revealed large populations of assorted sizes and ages. Many of the juveniles found in 2012/2013 are thus fifth-generation offspring. The species still requires some continued conservation management, such as maintaining sufficient hard substrate for spawning and shelter for the juveniles, however these measures are not thought to be a ‘direct intervention’ and it is expected that the species would still be viable without this management (therefore the species is deemed to be 'wild' and can be assessed against a threatened category).

The area of occupancy (AOO) for this species is still highly restricted (9-13 km²) and it is found in seven locations (12 sites in seven separate basins). It is potentially threatened by pollution or damage due to long term wars; if these threats were to occur then the species would quickly become Critically Endangered it species would quickly become extirpated from many of the sites. Drought caused by water abstraction (the reason for its near extirpation in 1999) is no longer deemed a major threat as Israel now relies heavily on desalination plants for its freshwater (this capacity is growing). The species was previously (2006) assessed as Extinct in the Wild, but due to conservation actions and reintroductions the species has undergone successful breeding in the wild since 2007; it has therefore undergone a genuine improvement in conservation status.

History:
2006 Extinct in the Wild

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species was found in most coastal streams of Israel where, in 1999, it became extirpated from the wild due to drought. It is currently found in 12 rehabilitated natural sites (in seven separate catchments) and artificial ponds in the Yarqon (or Yarkon) and Tut systems, where it was introduced in 2006.
Countries:
Reintroduced:
Israel
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

Fifty years ago, the species was very abundant. There was a sharp decline between 1950 and 1970. Then the population was stable until 1999. In 1999 the population declined almost to extinction due to drought. A captive population was bred from individuals (ca. 150 individuals) taken from two sites (Yarqon River and Tut stream); a few days later these streams dried up completely. Within five years, the captive population was 14,000.

Around 5,000 adult fish were re-introduced into to the Yarqon River in the winter of 2002/2003. However, surveys carried out in 2004 could not find a single juvenile. This led to the species being assessed as Extinct in the Wild in 2006. Following further research into the fish's life cycle, a semi-natural habitat was created (400 m² small pond fed by the Yarqon River), where reintroduced laboratory born fish successfully produced thousands of juveniles. Following this model, in 2006, 9,000 fish were re-introduced into 12 rehabilitated natural sites and artificial ponds. The descendants of these Yarqon fishes were introduced into water bodies in the Yarqon vicinity, while the fish originating from the Tut River were introduced into central and northern streams.

During the period 2007 to 2013, most of these stocked habitats, monitored by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, revealed large populations of assorted sizes and ages. Many of the juveniles found in 2012/2013 are thus fifth-generation offspring. 

Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a coastal river species, now only existing in 10-12 rehabilitated natural habitats (including ponds), most of them artificial and semi natural.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Drought caused by extraction of ground water and changing climate (reduced rainfall) was the primary threat to the species (the reason it became extirpated from its natural habitat). Currently pollution from agriculture and domestic sources and impacts due to long terms wars are the only real potential threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

A captive population is held in an artificial situation (laboratory) based on stock taken from two rivers (M. Goren pers. comm). Following this success of experimental reintroduction of the fish and the Government’s assurance regarding water, 12 sites along the Israeli coastal system were assigned for re-introduction of the fish, most of them engineered. During 2006-2007 approximately 9,000, laboratory-born fish were returned to nature. Offspring of the Yarqon River captured fish were stocked in southern Israel, in or close to the Yarqon River basin, while offspring of the Tut Stream were stocked in various rivers in the central and northern coastal system, in basins where this species had existed in the 1950s. In surveys carried out in 2007-2013, fish of all sizes, include juveniles, were found at most sites. The species still requires some continued conservation management, such as maintaining sufficient hard substrate for spawning and shelter for the juveniles, however these measures are not thought to be a ‘direct intervention’ and it is expected that the species would still be viable without this management.

Bibliography [top]

Gafny, S., Goren, M. and Gasith, A. 2000. Habitat condition and fish assemblage structure in a coastal Mediterranean stream (Yarqon, Israel) receiving domestic effluent. Hydrobiologia 422/423: 319–330.

Goren, M. 2009. Saving critically endangered fish species – utopia or practical idea? The story of the Yarqon bleak- Acanthobrama telavivensis (Cyprinidae) as a test case. . Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 15(1): 1-12.

Goren, M. 2011. Re-introduction of the "Extinct in the Wild" Yarqon bleak- Acanthobrama telavivensis (Cyprinidae). In: Soorae, P.P. (ed.), Global re-introduction perspectives: Re-introduction case studies from around the globe, pp. 45-48. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group.

Goren M. 2012. The Fall and Rise of the Yarqon Bleak. . WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquaria) 13: 36-38.

Goren, M. and Ortal, R. 1999. Biogeography, diversity and conservation of the inland water fish communities in Israel. Biological Conservation 89:1–9.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2014).


Citation: Goren, M. 2014. Acanthobrama telavivensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 August 2014.
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